My 11 year stint at OLIN is coming to a close in a few short weeks. It is hard for me to believe that I have been there so long. It has been an amazing experience working with Laurie Olin and all of the other talented partners and associates. There is such an amazing culture of teaching, learning, and collegiality that, from what I have heard, has been there from the beginning. Don't get me wrong, working there was no basket of flowers. These are serious designers we are talking about. Some of the best in their game. They do not mess around. They are critical, challenging, and they work their butts off.
So it was the perfect place to learn about landscape architecture. I probably couldn't have picked a better experience, even at a University. My teachers were my project managers and coworkers and my 'studio' projects were rarely speculative. I also learned a great deal on my own. Looking back when I started at OLIN, I knew almost nothing about the profession. I had my art degrees, and I had started to get into design. I suppose this was enough for David Rubin and Bryan Hanes to hire me as a Graphics Specialist (they had not yet gone on to start their new firms). In the last 11 years I've taught myself a lot. I learned Rhino, Grasshopper, Python, 3DS Max, Lumion, After Effects, CAD, Sketchup, Revit and more (all to varying degrees). Not to mention how many hours I have spent in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
I'm grateful to all of the folks at OLIN, and have made some dear friends. There are so many amazing people who are there and who have left. I have made a very long list.
I look forward to having OLIN as a client and for their generosity and open-mindedness to continue to work with me. It will ease the sting of leaving a place that is so dear to me. I look forward to working with OLIN as a client and to bringing my knowledge and experience from OLIN to other designers, researchers, engineers, and builders of cool things.